CB1 Calls for Delay in New Staten Island Ferry Route That Will Use Local Terminal
Community Board 1 (CB1) is pushing back against a plan by the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio to launch in 2020 a new ferry service from Staten Island that will bring to the Battery Park City ferry terminal more than 60 new vessels each day, carrying as many as 2,500 passengers.
At the June 25 meeting of CB1, Tammy Meltzer, who chairs the Board’s Battery Park City Committee, explained, “the City’s Economic Development Corporation [EDC] had never spoken to the Battery Park City Committee, the Waterfront Committee, or anybody at CB1. They never came and did a presentation for CB1 about new routes they want to do, before they proposed putting boats at Brookfield ferry terminal from 6:00 am to midnight.”
She noted that, on weekends, “the Port Authority doesn’t operate the ferry terminal that early or that late.”
This followed a heated discussion at the June 5 meeting of CB1’s Battery Park City Committee, at which Ms. Meltzer told EDC officials, “we’re struggling with the number of ferries as it is, and the weekend service we have to deal with right now starts at 10:00 am, rather than 6:30 am.”
Ms. Meltzer also observed that, “we have yet to hear any outreach to the community. EDC never came to CB1 during your feasibility study to ask the community, or understand our concerns. I think it was irresponsible, frankly.”
She continued, “we’re open to having the service and accommodating commuters, but there is another way. And to say that there you haven’t had the chance for discussion feels disingenuous and beyond pushy. All without consulting the 14,000 people who live here.”
At the June 25 meeting, CB1 enacted a resolution noting (among other objections) that, “additional ferry service in Battery Park City will create additional foot traffic to and from Brookfield Place and the PATH station, which will affect the free circulation of residents” and “ferry operation is noisy and the addition of more departure announcements, gunning engines, and departure sounds will further diminish the quality of life of Battery Park City residents who live within a short distance from the pier.”
The resolution concluded with a call for a full environmental review before implementing the EDC’s plan, which should include, “studies on the previously mentioned impacts on circulation of resident traffic around Battery Park City, sound pollution, impacts on air quality, impacts on water quality, and impacts on the long-term structural health of the Battery Park City bulkhead.” It also urged that, “EDC delay commencement of service of the Staten Island route until the World Trade Center PATH tunnels are completely renovated and normal weekend PATH train service resumes.” This was a reference to the fact that, during a multi-year tunnel maintenance project, weekend train service between the World Trade Center and New Jersey is being replaced (for the next two years) by ferry service operating from the same terminal that the EDC wants to use for its new Staten Island service.
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